Archive for the ‘December 23’ Category

Feast of Thomas Baldwin (December 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Thomas Baldwin

Image in the Public Domain

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THOMAS BALDWIN (DECEMBER 23, 1753-AUGUST 29, 1825)

U.S. Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer

Thomas Baldwin comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Baldwin was a native and resident of New England.  He, born in Bozrah, Connecticut, on December 23, 1753, moved to Canaan, New Hampshire, when sixteen years old.  He married his first wife, Rebecca Huntington (1755-1812) in 1775.  The couple had one daughter, Rebecca Baldwin (Goble) (1778-1800), who married in 1796.  She gave birth to two children, Andrew (1799-1880) and Anna (1800-1854).  Our saint, a member of the New Hampshire legislature, was also a law student in 1881, when he had a conversion experience and joined a Baptist church.

Baldwin, ordained in 1783, spent seven years as an itinerant evangelist.  Then he spent 1790-1825 as the pastor of Second Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts.  He wrote at least seven hymns, helped to organize the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society (1802), edited The Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine (1803f; available at archive.org), promoted foreign missions, wrote defenses of Baptist principles, and served as the chaplain to the General Court of Massachusetts.  Our saint also understood the importance of education.  He served as a trustee of Waterville College, Waterville, Maine (founded in 1813; now Colby College).  Furthermore, Baldwin helped to found Newton Theological Institute, Newton, Massachusetts (1825).  It was the first Baptist theological seminary in the United States of America.  The legacy of this institution has passed to Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut.

Baldwin, widowed in 1812, married Margaret Duncan (1769-1858) that year.

Our saint died in Waterville, Maine, on August 29, 1825.  He, 71 years old, was as in town, in his capacity as a trustee, for commencement at Waterville College.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 22, 2021 COMMON ERA

PROPER 16:  THE THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF JACK LAYTON, CANADIAN ACTIVIST AND FEDERAL LEADER OF THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY

THE FEAST OF JOHN DAVID CHAMBERS, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS HRYHORII KHOMYSHYN, SYMEON LUKACH, AND IVAN SLEZYUK, UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND MARTYRS, 1947, 1964, AND 1973

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN KEMBLE AND JOHN WALL, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1679

THE FEAST OF SAINTS THOMAS PERCY, RICHARD KIRKMAN, AND WILLIAM LACEY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1572 AND 1582

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O God, our Heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Thomas Baldwin,

to be a pastor in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ

and stewards of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 719

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Feast of Henry Schwing (December 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Maryland

Image in the Public Domain

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HENRY SCHWING (DECEMBER 26, 1825-JANUARY 19, 1907)

U.S. Organist and Music Editor

“The Grand Old Man of Maryland Music”

Henry Schwing comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Above:  Mount Vernon Place Methodist Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland

Image Source = Matthew Simpson, Cyclopaedia of Methodism (1878), 81

Schwing was a church musician and a music educator.  He, born in Germany on December 26, 1825, relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1848.  He served as the organist first at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Baltimore.  Then, for 25 years, he served as the organist at Mount Vernon Place Methodist Episcopal (now United Methodist) Church, “the Cathedral of Methodism,” completed in 1872.  Our saint joined the faculty of the Woman’s College of Baltimore (now Goucher College, Towson) in 1896.  He was an instructor in the theory of music (1891-1892) then the Director of the School of Music (1892-1894).

Schwing, husband of Sophia Wagner (1827-1910) and father of three daughters, all of whom survived him, left a published legacy, too.  His published works included:

  1. Margaret Polka (1849);
  2. Cantate Domino (1859), with co-compiler Lewis H. Steiner, M.D.;
  3. The Musical Philosopher’s Stone, or Amateur’s Test in Judging Music (1862);
  4. The First Instruction on the Piano (1880);
  5. Tunes for Worship (1884);
  6. The Hymnal of the Reformed Church in the United States (1890), as the Musical Editor;
  7. The Woman’s Hymnal:  A Collection of Sacred Lyrics Set to Music and Arranged as Duets for Soprano and Alto (Tenor and Bass Ad Libitium) for the Use of the Woman’s College of Baltimore (1892); and
  8. A Practical Guide in Improvisation and Modulation (1902).

Schwing also arranged hymn tunes.  For example, he arranged DU MEINER SEELEN (#276 in The Hymnal, 1941), by George Joseph/Georg Joseph/George Josephi.

Schwing, aged 81 years, died in Baltimore on January 19, 1907.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 21, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRUNO ZEMBOL, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC FRIAR AND MARTYR, 1942

THE FEAST OF SAINTS CAMERIUS, CISELLUS, AND LUXORIUS OF SARDINIA, MARTYRS, 303

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAXIMILIAN OF ANTIOCH, MARTYR, CIRCA 353; AND SAINTS BONOSUS AND MAXIAMINUS THE SOLDIER, MATYRS, 362

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICTOIRE RASOAMANARIVO, MALAGASY ROMAN CATHOLIC LAYWOMAN

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Henry Schwing)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Holiday Busyness   2 comments

Above:  A Domestic Scene, December 8, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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On my bed when I think of you,

I muse on you in the watches of the night,

for you have always been my help;

in the shadow of your wings I rejoice;

my heart clings to you,

your right hand supports me.

–Psalm 63:6-8, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

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In my U.S. culture, the time from Thanksgiving (late November) to New Year’s Day is quite busy.  Holidays populate the calendar.  Some of these holidays are, for lack of a better word, ecumenical.  Others are religiously and/or culturally specific, though.  Christmas, originally the Christ Mass, has become an occasion, for many, to worship the Almighty Dollar at the high altar of commercialism.  This is how many Evangelicals of the Victorian Era wanted matters to be.

On the relatively innocuous side, this is the time of the year to populate one’s calendar with holiday social events, such as parties, school plays, and seasonal concerts.  Parents often like to attend their children’s events, appropriately.  Holiday concerts by choral and/or instrumental ensembles can also be quite pleasant.

Yet, amid all this busyness (sometimes distinct from business), are we neglecting the innate human need for peace and quiet?  I like classical Advent and Christmas music, especially at this time of the year (all the way through January 5, the twelfth day of Christmas), but I have to turn it off eventually.  Silence also appeals to me.  Furthermore, being busy accomplishing a worthy goal is rewarding, but so is simply being.

The real question is one of balance.  Given the absence of an actual distinction between the spiritual and the physical, everything is spiritual.  If we are too busy for God, silence, and proper inactivity, we are too busy.  If we are too busy to listen to God, we are too busy.  If we are too busy or too idle, we are not our best selves.

May we, by grace, strike and maintain the proper balance.  May we, especially at peak periods of activity, such as the end of the year, not overextend ourselves, especially in time commitments.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 14, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT VENANTIUS HONORIUS CLEMENTIUS FORTUNATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF POITIERS

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY ANN THRUPP, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCDONALD, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

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Published originally at BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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Feast of James Prince Lee (December 23)   4 comments

james-prince-lee

Above:  James Prince Lee

Image in the Public Domain

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JAMES PRINCE LEE (JULY 28, 1804-DECEMBER 24, 1869)

Bishop of Manchester

I learned of the existence of James Prince Lee while reading old Encyclopedia Britannica articles about some of his pupils, who became prominent priests and scholars of The Church of England.  To the best of my knowledge, no ecclesiastical body has added Bishop Lee to its calendar of saints.  That, I have concluded, constitutes an unfortunate omission.

James Prince Lee, born at London, England, on July 28, 1804, was a priest, a bishop, an educator, and a classical scholar.  He attended and studied at St. Paul’s School and at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1828; M.A., 1831).  At Trinity College Lee became a renowned classical scholar.  He took Holy Orders in 1830, the same year he began to serve as assistant headmaster of the Rugby School, under headmaster Thomas Arnold.  Lee left the Rugby School in 1837 to become the Rector of Ayot St. Peter.  The following year our saint became the headmaster of King Edward’s School, Birmingham.  There his star pupils included Edward White Benson (1829-1896), a future Archbishop of Canterbury; Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1828-1889), a future Bishop of Durham; and Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), also a future Bishop of Durham.

From 1848 to 1869 (his death) Lee served as the first Bishop of Manchester.  Although some of the clergy of the diocese thought he was too much like a schoolmaster in his manner, he was a capable bishop.  Our saint built up the diocese, consecrating 130 church buildings in 21 years.  He also cared deeply about Manchester itself; the bookworm helped to found the public library in the city.

Lee died at home on Christmas Eve, 1869.  He was 65 years old.

Our saint influenced many people directly and indirectly.  Like any educator, his influence was evident in many of his students, who, in turn, influenced others, and so on.  Certainly Lee had an effect on everyone who benefited from the existence of the Manchester public library.  Furthermore, all whose spiritual formation or any part thereof occurred in any of the 130 church buildings he consecrated owed some debt of gratitude to our saint.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

ALL SAINTS’ SUNDAY

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GREGOR, FATHER OF MORAVIAN CHURCH MUSIC

THE FEAST OF GIOVANNI GABRIELI AND HANS LEO HASSLER, COMPOSERS AND ORGANISTS; AND CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI AND HEINRICH SCHUTZ, COMPOSERS AND MUSICIANS

THE FEAST OF SAINT THEOPHANE VENARD, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR IN VIETNAM

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM TEMPLE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant

James Prince Lee to be a bishop in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ

and stewards of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 719

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Feast of William John Blew (December 23)   1 comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM JOHN BLEW (APRIL 13, 1808-DECEMBER 27, 1894)

English Priest and Translator of Hymns

Robert Campbell (1814-1868) was a Tractarian who translated hymns from Latin into English.  So was William John Blew (1808-1894), a native of London and a priest of The Church of England.  Blew, who attended Wadham College, Oxford (B.A., 1830; M.A., 1832), took Holy Orders and served as, in order:

  1. the Curate of Nuthurst and Cocking;
  2. the Curate of St. Anne’s, Westminster; and
  3. the Incumbent of St. John’s, near Gravesend.

Many of Blew’s translations debuted as single-sheet copies for use in his congregation, but The Church Hymn and Tune Book (First Edition, 1852; Second Edition, 1855), which he and Henry John Gauntlett (1805-1876) edited, shared them with a larger audience.  Among the translations our saint prepared was the following, a collaboration with Edward Caswall (1814-1878):

All ye a certain cure who seek

In trouble and distress,

Whatever griefs the spirit break,

Or sins the soul oppress:

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Jesus, who gave Himself for men,

Upon the cross to die,

For you unlocks His heart; O then

Unto that heart draw nigh!

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Ye hear His gracious voice and free,

Ye hear His summons blest:

“O all ye weary, come to me,

And I will give you rest!”

Our saint’s publications included more than translations of hymns:

  1. The Iliad, Books I and II (1831)
  2. Ecclesia Dei:  A Vision of the Church (1848);
  3. Breviarium Aberdonense (1854);
  4. Hymns and Hymn-Books, with a Few Words on Anthems:  A Letter to the Rev. William Upton Richards, M.A. (1858);
  5. God Save the Men of Denmark! (1864);
  6. On the New Latin Prayer-Books:  A Letter to a Friend in the Shires (1865);
  7. Church Life:  Its Grounds and Obligations (1867); and
  8. The Second Year of the Reign of King Edward VI:  The Altar Service of the Church of England for That Year, to Which is Added That of the Third Year (1549) (1877).

Blew died on December 27, 1894.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF HORATIUS BONAR, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, ABOLITIONIST

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William John Blew and others, who have translated hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C   Leave a comment

Above:  The Visitation and Magnificat

Violence, Grace, and Scandal

DECEMBER 23, 2018

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THE FIRST READING

Micah 5:2-51 (New Revised Standard Version):

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,

who are one of the little clans of Judah,

from you shall come forth for me

one who is to rule Israel,

whose origin is from of old,

from ancient days.

Therefore he shall give them up until the time

when she who is in labor has brought forth;

then the rest of his kindred shall return

to the people of Israel.

And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD,

in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.

And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth;

and he shall be the one of peace.

THE RESPONSE:  OPTIONS

Canticle 15 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

(The Magnificat plus the Trinitarian formula)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,

my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;

for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,

he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel,

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

The promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning is now, and will be for ever.  Amen.

Psalm 80:1-7 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock;

shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.

2  In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,

stir up your strength and come to help us.

3  Restore us, O God of hosts;

show us the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

4  O LORD God of hosts,

how long will you be angered

despite the prayers of your people?

5  You have fed them with the bread of tears;

you have given them bowls of tears to drink.

6 You have made us the derision of our neighbors,

and our enemies laugh us to scorn.

7  Restore us, O God of hosts;

show us the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

THE SECOND READING

Hebrews 10:5-10 (Revised Standard Version–Second Catholic Edition):

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,

but a body have you prepared for me;

in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.

Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,’

as it is written of me in the roll of the book.

When he said above,

You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings

(those are offered according to the law), then he added,

Behold, I have come to do your will.

He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.  And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

THE GOSPEL READING

Luke 1:39-45 (46-55) (Revised English Bible):

Soon afterwards Mary set out and hurried away to a town in the uplands of Judah.  She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.  And when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby stirred in her womb.  Then Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed in a loud voice,

God’s blessing is on you above all women, and his blessing is on the fruit of your womb.  Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?  I tell you, when your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy.  Happy is she who has faith that the Lord’s promise to her would be fulfilled!

And Mary said:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,

my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour;

for he has looked with favour on his servant,

lowly as she is.

From this day forward

all generations will count me blessed,

for the Mighty God has done great things for me.

His name is holy,

his mercy sure from generation to generation

toward those who fear him.

He has shown the might of his arm,

he has routed the proud and all their schemes;

he has brought down monarchs and their thrones,

and raised on high the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of Israel his servant,

as he promised to our forefathers;

he has not forgotten to show mercy

to Abraham and his children’s children for ever.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned home.

The Collect:

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Advent Prayers of Dedication:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/advent-prayers-of-dedication/

Advent Prayers of Praise and Adoration:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/advent-prayers-of-praise-and-adoration/

The Hail Mary:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/the-hail-mary/

An Advent Prayer:  Expectant God:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-expectant-god/

An Advent Prayer:  Divine Light:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-divine-light/

An Advent Prayer:  The Word of God is Near:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-the-word-of-god-is-near/

An Advent Prayer of Confession:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-of-confession/

Advent Prayers of Thanksgiving:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/advent-prayers-of-thanksgiving/

An Advent Blessing:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-blessing/

An Advent Prayer:  Expectant Hearts:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-expectant-hearts/

O Blessed Mother:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/o-blessed-mother/

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The world has long been violent.  Such violence is evident in some of the readings for this Sunday.  Read the rest of Micah 5, which refers to a possible invasion by Assyrian forces.  Enemies laugh the people of God to scorn in Psalm 80.  Hebrews 10 reminds us that the birth of Jesus was an early chapter in a story which went on to include the crucifixion.  And the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, the setting for the glorious Magnificat, occurred in occupied Judea.  The Pax Romana came at a high price for the vanquished and occupied.

Empires rise and fall, but violence persists.  Nations still occupy other peoples, who engage in acts of violent resistance.  And invasions occur from time to time.  Grudges ancient and modern ferment in the minds of many people, whether they are occupied or the occupiers.  Out of mutual fear, hostility, and misunderstanding we humans attack each other and justify injustice.

We have done this to ourselves and each other.  We continue to do so, for we might not know how to act differently.  We need to hear and heed the message of the Magnificat.  The fruit of a scandalous conception brought about an abundance of grace, but that fruit needed good nurturing.  May we, when we have opportunities to do so, nurture the bearers of grace around us.  Scandals are less important (if at all) than are love and compassion.  Who knows how far the impact of our nurturing will reach?  What would Jesus have been without the parenting skills of Mary and Joseph?  If we take our creedal statements regarding our Lord’s full humanity and divinity seriously, we must give Mary and Joseph much credit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 3, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF EDWARD CASWALL, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDWARD PERRONET, BRITISH METHODIST PREACHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT GENEVIEVE, PROPHET

THE FEAST OF GLADYS AYLWARD, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY TO CHINA

Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS

Feast of St. Charbel (December 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Charbel

SAINT CHARBEL (1828-1898)

Roman Catholic Priest and Monk

His feast transferred from December 24

St. Charbel, born Youssef Antoun Makhlouf in northern Lebanon, became a great saint.  Two of his uncles were hermits; he joined them at the St. Antonious Kozhaya monastery.  He left his family village in 1851 and wound up (eventually) at the Maronite monastery in Annaya, where he became known as Charbel.  The saint became a priest on July 23, 1859.  He left Annaya after sixteen years to enter the Sts. Peter and Paul hermitage in 1875.  The saint devoted his life to prayer and worship, a legitimate use of one’s life, a statement which I propose one who  affirms the efficacy of prayer must affirm.  There, at the hermitage, St. Charbel became suffered a stroke while saying Mass on December 16, 1898.  He died on Christmas Eve.

I have heard several people (all Protestants, by the way) with whom I agree on other points condemn those who have chosen monasticism.  “Why are they in the abbey?” these individuals have asked.  “Those monks and nuns are useless,” I have heard.  “Why are they not doing good work in the world?”  My reply is simple and in several parts:

  1. The monastic vocation is legitimate and holy.  It is not for everyone, but each of us has his or her set of vocations from God, and no two sets are identical.  Vocational variety is the spice of spiritual life.
  2. I take comfort in the fact that certain people can pursue a life devoted to prayer.  We need more intercessors in this life.
  3. Monks and nuns saved Western civilization long ago.  They might save it again.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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O God,

whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world,

that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Saint Charbel,

may serve you with singleness of heart,

and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34 or 34:1-8

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or Luke 9:57-62

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), pages 249 and 927

Feast of St. John of Kanty (December 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Scholar and His Books (1671), by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

SAINT JOHN OF KANTY, A.K.A. SAINT JOHN CANTIUS OR SAINT JOHN KANTIUS (June 24, 1390-December 24, 1473)

Roman Catholic Theologian

I grew up in a series of United Methodist parsonages in the South Georgia Annual Conference.  The United Methodist Church, like other denominations, is diverse, and its character varies widely according to settings, such as rural or urban, cosmopolitan or provincial, Southern or Midwestern.   By luck of the draw I got the short straw–rural southern Georgia, where, more often than not, intellectual tendencies made me suspect at worst and without many people to speak to intelligently at best.  I sought a church climate where I could find support and encouragement for my union of intellect and spirituality.  This quest took me into The Episcopal Church, where I am content.

So imagine, O reader, how much I appreciate St. John of Kanty.  Consider his life with me.

The saint entered this world at Kanty, Poland, in 1390.  He earned a Ph.D. in 1418, after which he prepared for the priesthood while teaching philosophy at the Jagiellonian University at Krakow.  Ordained a priest, the saint became rector of the school of the Canons Regular of the Most Holy Sepulchre, Miechow, which was a prestigious appointment.  He returned to the Jagiellonian University in 1429 to teach philosophy.  There he remained for the rest of his life, except for a stint as parish priest at Olkusz, due to dismissal from the University due to internal academic politics and offended egos.  The saint became head of the Philosophy Department in time then left that post to lead the Theology Department.  He also lived very simply, cared for the needs of students, and helped the poor people of Krakow.

Pope Clement XIII canonized the saint in 1676.

One’s intellect is a gift from God; St. John of Kanty understood this well.  May we, like the saint, seek God with all that we are.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God,

your Holy Spirit gives

to one the word of knowledge,

to another the insight of wisdom,

and to another the steadfastness of faith.

We praise you for the gifts of grace imparted to your servant Saint John of Kanty,

and we pray that by his teaching we may be led

to a fuller knowledge of the truth we have seen

in your Son Jesus, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Proverbs 3:1-7 or Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:89-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16 or 1 Corinthians 3:5-11

John 17:18-23 or Matthew 13:47-52

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 61

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for December   Leave a comment

Poinsettia

Image Source = Andre Karwath

1 (Charles de Foucauld, Roman Catholic Hermit and Martyr, 1916)

  • Albert Barnes, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Abolitionist, and Alleged Heretic
  • Brioc, Roman Catholic Abbot; and Tudwal, Roman Catholic Abbot, and Bishop of Treguier
  • Douglas LeTell Rights, U.S. Moravian Minister, Scholar, and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Timothy Mickey, Jr., U.S. Moravian Bishop and Liturgist
  • George Hugh Bourne, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

2 (Hormisdas, Bishop of Rome; and his son, Silverius, Bishop of Rome, and Martyr, 537)

  • Channing Moore Williams, Episcopal Missionary Bishop in China and Japan
  • Gerald Thomas Noel, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer; his brother, Baptist Wriothesley Noel, Anglican Priest, English Baptist Evangelist, and Hymn Writer; and his niece, Caroline Maria Noel, Anglican Hymn Writer
  • Justin Heinrich Knecht, German Lutheran Organist, Music Teacher, and Composer
  • Maura Clarke and Her Companions, U.S. Roman Catholic Martyrs in El Salvador, December 2, 1980
  • Rafal Chylinski, Polish Franciscan Roman Catholic Priest

3 (Francis Xavier, Roman Catholic Missionary to the Far East)

  • Amilie Juliane, Countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Jan Franciszek Macha, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1942
  • M. Woolsey Stryker, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Educator, Author, Hymnal Editor, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Sophie Koulomzin, Russian-American Christian Educator

4 (John of Damascus and Cosmas of Maiuma, Theologians and Hymnodists)

  • Alexander Hotovitzky, Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1937
  • Bernard of Parma, Roman Catholic Bishop of Parma
  • Joseph Mohr, Austrian Roman Catholic Priest; and Franz Gruber, Austrian Roman Catholic Teacher, Musician, and Composer
  • Maruthas, Roman Catholic Bishop of Maypherkat, and Missionary to Persia
  • Osmund of Salisbury, Roman Catholic Bishop of Salisbury

5 (Clement of Alexandria, Father of Christian Scholarship)

  • Cyran, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Narcyz Putz, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1942
  • Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, and Renewer of Society
  • Nicetius of Trier, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Bishop of Trier; and Aredius of Limoges, Roman Catholic Monk
  • Peter Mortimer, Anglo-German Moravian Educator, Musician, and Scholar; and Gottfried Theodor Erxleben, German Moravian Minister and Musicologist

6 (Nicholas of Myra, Bishop of Myra)

  • Abraham of Kratia, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, Bishop of Kratia, and Hermit
  • Alice Freeman Palmer, U.S. Educator and Hymn Writer
  • Anne Ross Cousin, Scottish Presbyterian Hymn Writer
  • Henry Ustick Onderdonk, Episcopal Bishop of New York, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Philip Berrigan and his brother, Daniel Berrigan, Roman Catholic Priests and Social Activists

7 (John Greenleaf Whittier, U.S. Quaker Abolitionist, Poet, and Hymn Writer)

  • Emma Francis, Lutheran Deaconess in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Harlem
  • Georg Friedrich Hellstrom, Dutch-German Moravian Musician, Composer, and Educator
  • John Howard Bertram Masterman, Anglican Scholar, Hymn Writer, Priest, and Bishop of Plymouth
  • Maria Josepha Rossello, Co-Founder of the Daughters of Our Lady of Pity
  • William Gustave Polack, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer and Translator

8 (Walter Ciszek, Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Political Prisoner)

  • Amatus of Luxeuil and Romaric of Luxeuil, Roman Catholic Monks and Abbots
  • Ambrose Reeves, Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg, and Opponent of Apartheid
  • Erik Christian Hoff, Norwegian Lutheran Composer and Organist
  • Marin Shkurti, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1969
  • Narcisa de Jesús Martillo-Morán, Ecuadorian Roman Catholic Mystic and Ascetic

9 (Liborius Wagner, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1631)

  • David Brüning, S. German Evangelical Minister, Hymnal Editor, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • George Job Elvey, Anglican Composer and Organist
  • John Zundel, German-American Organist, Hymnal Editor, Hymn Tune Composer, and Music Editor
  • Peter Fourier, “The Good Priest of Mattaincourt;” and Alix Le Clerc, Founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Canonesses Regular of Saint Augustine
  • Thomas Merton, S. Roman Catholic Priest, Monk, and Spiritual Writer

10 (Karl Barth, Swiss Reformed Minister, Theologian, and Biblical Scholar; and his son, Markus Barth, Swiss Lutheran Minister and Biblical Scholar)

  • Howell Elvet Lewis, Welsh Congregationalist Clergyman and Poet
  • John Roberts, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1610
  • Olivier Messiaen, Claire Delbos, and Yvonne Loriod, French Roman Catholic Musicians and Composers
  • Paul Eber, German Lutheran Theologian and Hymn Writer
  • Robert Murray, Canadian Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

11 (Martyrs of El Mozote, El Salvador, December 11-12, 1981)

  • Howard Chandler Robbins, Episcopal Priest, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Kazimierz Tomas Sykulski, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1942
  • Lars Olsen Skrefsrud, Hans Peter Boerresen, and Paul Olaf Bodding, Lutheran Missionaries in India
  • Luke of Prague and John Augusta, Moravian Bishops and Hymn Writers
  • Severin Ott, Roman Catholic Monk

12 (William Lloyd Garrison, Abolitionist and Feminist; and Maria Stewart, Abolitionist, Feminist, and Educator)

  • Bartholomew Buonpedoni and Vivaldus, Ministers among Lepers
  • Jonathan Krause, Silesian Lutheran Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor
  • Ludwik Bartosik, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1941
  • Thomas Canning, U.S. Composer and Music Educator
  • William Louis Poteat, President of Wake Forest College, and Biologist; his brother, Edwin McNeill Poteat, Sr., Southern and Northern Baptist Minister, Scholar, and President of Furman University; his son, Edwin McNeill Poteat, Jr., Southern Baptist Minister, Missionary, Musician, Hymn Writer, and Social Reformer;  his brother, Gordon McNeill Poteat, Southern and Northern Baptist and Congregationalist Minister and Missionary; and his cousin, Hubert McNeill Poteat, Southern Baptist Academic and Musician

13 (Samuel Johnson, “The Great Moralist”)

  • Christian Furchtegott Gellert, German Lutheran Minister, Educator, and Hymn Writer
  • Ella J. Baker, Witness for Civil Rights
  • Paul Speratus, German Lutheran Bishop, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Pierson Parker, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Episcopal Priest, and Biblical Scholar
  • R. Birch Hoyle, English Baptist Minister and Hymn Translator

14 (Radegunda, Thuringian Roman Catholic Princess, Deaconess, and Nun; and Venantius Honorius Clementius Fortunatus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Poitiers)

  • Dorothy Ann Thrupp, English Hymn Writer
  • Henry Aldrich, Anglican Priest, Composer, Theologian, Mathematician, and Architect
  • James Arnold Blaisdell, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Scholar, and Hymn Writer
  • John of the Cross, Roman Catholic Mystic and Carmelite Friar
  • William Adams Brown, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Theologian, and Social Reformer

15 (Thomas Benson Pollock, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer)

  • Fred D. Gealy, U.S. Methodist Minister, Missionary, Musician, and Biblical Scholar
  • Henry Fothergill Chorley, English Novelist, Playwright, and Literary and Music Critic
  • John Horden, Anglican Bishop of Moosenee
  • Ralph Wardlaw, Scottish Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist
  • Robert McDonald, Anglican Priest and Missionary

16 (Ralph Adams Cram and Richard Upjohn, Architects; and John LaFarge, Sr., Painter and Stained-Glass Window Maker)

  • Alexis Feodorovich Lvov, Russian Orthodox Musician and Composer
  • Conrad Kocher, German Composer and Music Educator; Reformer of Church Music in Germany
  • Filip Siphong Onphithakt, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr in Thailand, 1940
  • Lewis Henry Redner, Episcopal Organist and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Maude Dominica Petre, Roman Catholic Modernist Theologian

17 (Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton, Founders of Save the Children)

  • Althea Brown Edmiston, African-American Southern Presbyterian Missionary in the Congo Free State then Belgian Congo
  • Dorothy Sayers, Anglican Poet, Novelist, Playwright, Translator, Apologist, and Theologian
  • Frank Mason North, U.S. Methodist Minister, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer
  • Mary Cornelia Bishop Gates, U.S. Dutch Reformed Hymn Writer
  • Olympias of Constantinople, Widow and Deaconess

18 (Marc Boegner, French Reformed Minister and Ecumenist)

  • Alicia Domon and Her Companions, Martyrs in Argentina, 1977
  • Giulia Valle, Roman Catholic Nun
  • Horatio William Parker, Episcopal Composer, Organist, and Music Educator
  • John Darwall, Anglican Priest and Composer
  • John MacLeod Campbell Crum, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

19 (Raoul Wallenberg, Righteous Gentile)

  • Francesco Antonio Bonporti, Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Composer
  • Kazimiera Wolowska, Polish Roman Catholic Nun and Martyr, 1942
  • Robert Campbell, Scottish Episcopalian then Roman Catholic Social Advocate and Hymn Writer
  • William Henry Draper, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • William Howard Bishop, Founder of the Glenmary Home Missioners

20 (Dominic of Silos, Roman Catholic Abbot)

  • Bates Gilbert Burt, Episcopal Priest, Hymn Writer, and Composer
  • Benjamin Tucker Tanner, African Methodist Episcopal Bishop and Renewer of Society
  • D. Elton Trueblood, U.S. Quaker Theologian
  • Johann Christoph Schwedler, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Michal Piasczynski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1940

21 (THOMAS THE APOSTLE, MARTYR)

22 (Frederick Temple and William Temple, Archbishops of Canterbury)

  • Chaeremon and Ischyrion, Roman Catholic Martyrs, Circa 250
  • Chico Mendes, “Gandhi of the Amazon”
  • Demetrius A. Gallitzin, Russian-American Roman Catholic Missionary Priest; “The Apostle of the Alleghenies”
  • Henry Budd, First Anglican Native Priest in North America; Missionary to the Cree Nation
  • Isaac Hecker, Founder of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle

23 (John of Kanty, Roman Catholic Theologian)

  • Charbel, Roman Catholic Priest and Monk
  • Henry Schwing, U.S. Organist and Music Educator; “The Grand Old Man of Maryland Music”
  • James Prince Lee, Anglican Bishop of Manchester
  • Thomas Baldwin, U.S. Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • William John Blew, English Priest and Hymn Writer

24 (CHRISTMAS EVE)

25 (CHRISTMAS DAY)

26 (SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • STEPHEN, DEACON AND MARTYR

27 (THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • JOHN THE EVANGELIST, APOSTLE

28 (FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • HOLY INNOCENTS, MARTYRS, 4 B.C.E

29 (FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Antonio Caldara, Roman Catholic Composer and Musician
  • John Burnett Morris, Sr., Episcopal Priest and Witness for Civil Rights
  • Philipp Heinrich Molther, German Moravian Minister, Bishop, Composer, and Hymn Translator
  • Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr, 1170
  • Thomas Cotterill, English Priest, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist

30 (SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Allen Eastman Cross, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • George Wallace Briggs, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John Main, Anglo-Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Monk
  • Josiah Booth, English Organist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Frances Joseph-Gaudet, African-American Educator, Prison Reformer, and Social Worker

31 (SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Giuseppina Nicoli, Italian Roman Catholic Nun and Minister to the Poor
  • Henry Irving Louttit, Jr., Episcopal Bishop of Georgia
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Rossiter Worthington Raymond, U.S. Novelist, Poet, Hymn Writer, and Mining Engineer
  • Zoticus of Constantinople, Priest and Martyr, Circa 351

 

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.